Lent is approaching and that means another year has come and gone. I read a Venerable Fulton Sheen quote the other day that really challenged me to make this Lenten experience a time of spiritual growth:
"Each new year is actually a testing and proving ground for eternity, a kind of novitiate in which we say "aye" or "nay" to our eternal destiny, a season of plenty from which we shall later on reap either wheat or weeds."
Over the last couple days I've been pondering many opportunities that I can bring into the Lenten wilderness. I've also celebrated some positive things from last Lent in order to develop them into the fast approaching liturgical season.
5. Reading Fulton Sheen's autobiography 'Treasure in the Clay'
This book is delightful and gave me a fresh perspective on many things. Fulton Sheen gives wonderful insights when it comes to beating the world, the devil, and the flesh. Venerable Archbishop Sheen gives a well-balanced account of his life and specifically an interesting view of the Second Vatican Council- in which he attended all sessions. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking to grow closer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus this Lent.
4. Audio Sancto Sermons
These sermons are hard hitting and they surely make your skull-sweat. They challenge the status quo specifically on topics regarding to Church Tradition, evolution, limbo, and anything else that you might assume to be a safe topic. Listen to these pod-casts this Lent and watch your spirituality travel to new heights.
3. The Traditional Latin Mass
Although 2013 wasn't my first experience with the Extraordinary Form, this past year allowed me to study and "fully and actively participate" in the Mass of the ages. Attending the Traditional Latin Mass has made me understand liturgy in a more profound way thus deepening my relationship with Jesus Christ and my neighbor. If you've never been to a Latin Mass, Lent would be a perfect time to attend because it allows holiness and quietness to foster in your soul.
I was lucky enough to be able to go to Feather Rock Retreat Center located in Schulenburg Texas. There I got to embrace the spirituality of St. Josemaria Escriva whose main purpose was to encourage all to sanctify the ordinary. It made me realize that my vocation, if a lived out in accordance with God's Will, will make me holy (and others too)— even if that means I'm only "just working" at a restaurant or sitting at a desk. Read any of Josemaria Escriva's works or attend a retreat and you will come away with a better knowledge of what it means to pray, fast, and do works of charity. Opus Dei also has a center in Houston!
1. Spreading Marian Consecration
Being part of the Militia of the Immaculata has allowed me to spread Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary. This has enriched my prayer life and has acted like steroids to my spirituality. I've been able to help this cause in the Diocese of Beaumont and in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. It has truly been a gift for me to help others become totally dependent upon the Immaculate Heart of the Queen Mother of God. She will never be out given in generosity. The spouse of the Holy Ghost has been very generous to me this last year— go to her this Lent and you will find solace beneath her mantle. If you haven't made a Total Consecration yet, do it soon! You will not regret it! Go to this website for more information: www.consecration.com